With marijuana legalization sweeping the nation (currently, 10 states allow recreational marijuana; 33 states allow medical marijuana)1, many pet owners have started wondering what this plant can offer their canine companions. The topic is fraught with confusion both medically- and legally-speaking, but let's see if we can clear up some of the uncertainty.
What is Cannabis?
The Cannabis plant is a flowering plant that was first discovered and domesticated in Central Asia sometime during the prehistoric era. Even then it seems to have been used as a mind-altering drug as well as a source of hemp fiber, hemp oil, and for medicinal purposes2.
There are two main parts to the plant, each of which contain different ratios of THC and CBD and are used for different purposes.
The flowers and leaves can be collectively called "marijuana" and are used for recreational and medicinal uses. They contain upwards of 20% THC and only 2% CBD.
The stalks and seeds of Cannabis can be referred to as "hemp". They contain very little THC (<0.3%) and much more CBD (around 15%). These components are used to produce hemp fiber, hemp oil, food, and animal feedstuffs3.
What is the Difference between THC and CBD?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the principle psychoactive constituent of Cannabis. THC is considered an illegal drug in many countries, and while more than half the United States has legalized medical use of Cannabis, no THC products have been approved by the Federal Drug Administration for federal commerce.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of at least 113 cannabinoids identified in the Cannabis plant and makes up approximately 40% of the plant's extract. It has been found to be effective for certain types of childhood epilepsy and also seems to have antidepressant, anxiolytic, and neuroprotective effects. There is one FDA-approved CBD product called Epidiolex labeled for use in two rare forms of childhood epilepsy - Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome4.
CB1 vs CB2
Both THC and CBD activate the same two receptors in the body, CB1 and CB2, however they activate in different ratios, thus explaining the quite different mental states of those people who ingest THC products versus CBD or hemp products. These two receptors are integral parts of something called the Endocannabinoid System.
CB1 is found primarily in the brain and nervous system and is the main target of THC. Activation of CB1 is found to decrease neuropathic pain and decrease nausea and vomiting, however it also can increase appetite and incidence of depressive disorders3.
CB2 is found primarily in certain immune cells (microglia and macrophages), splenocytes, the GI tract, and peripheral nerves and is preferentially activated by CBD and/or Hemp products. Activation of CB2 can help prevent bone loss, decrease inflammation, and lessen neuropathic pain3.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a biological system found throughout the body that is involved in regulating a variety of physiological and cognitive processes including fertility, appetite, pain sensation, mood, memory, and the body's inflammatory response5,6,7.
Due to the more psychogenic activity of CB1, utilizing hemp product is the preferred way to modulate the ECS by its preferential activation of CB2. By supporting the body's ECS in this manner (such as by supplementing with Standard Process Canine Hemp Oil Complex), we can support the body's healthy and natural inflammatory response, particularly the resolution phase, as well as impact the body's ability to manage metabolic stress.
Why Standard Process Canine Hemp Oil Complex?
Standard Process has been producing quality whole food supplements since 1929. Their Canine Hemp Oil Complex utilizes a legally sourced, high-quality, and non-genetically engineered organic hemp oil from Eastern Europe. All European hemp products are required by governmental regulation to be tested for THC levels and that they be below 0.3%.
The Standard Process Hemp Oil product also contains two additional ingredients that enhance the effectiveness of hemp and provide secondary support to the ECS.
Calamari oil from certified sustainable sources provides a natural high quality source of Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA, and DPA) which help support the natural inflammatory process and its resolution in various body systems including the cardiovascular, pulmonary, immune, and endocrine systems. Research has also shown that omega-3's can act as a partial activator of the CB1/CB2 receptors in the ECS, thus compounding the positive effects of hemp oil supplementation.
Broccoli is included as a source of natural antioxidants that may help prevent chronic disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer8.
When should I consider Canine Hemp Oil Complex?
Canine Hemp Oil Complex works by supporting the Endocannabinoid System, healthy inflammatory response, and endogenous antioxidant pathways.
Dogs who are suffering from a chronic inflammatory process or increased metabolic stress may benefit from supplementation. Examples of conditions that fall into these categories include:
Endocrine Diseases including diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, Cushing's disease, Addison's disease
This list is not all-inclusive and it is always recommended to consult with a veterinarian well-versed in nutritional therapy prior to beginning supplementation.
If you interested in purchasing Canine Hemp Oil Complex for your dog, or want more information, please contact us via our website and we would be happy to help!
Slavko Komarnytsky PhDAssociate Professor, Pharmacogenomics. Plants for Human Health Institute, NC State University. Introducing Hemp Oil Complex Webinar. Kannapolis, NC. Dec 11, 2018.
"FDA approves first drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy". US Food and Drug Administration. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
Klein, Carolin; Hill, Matthew N.; Chang, Sabrina C.H.; Hillard, Cecilia J.; Gorzalka, Boris B. (June 2012). "Circulating Endocannabinoid Concentrations and Sexual Arousal in Women". The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 9 (6): 1588–601.
Aizpurua-Olaizola, Oier; Elezgarai, Izaskun; Rico-Barrio, Irantzu; Zarandona, Iratxe; Etxebarria, Nestor; Usobiaga, Aresatz (2016). "Targeting the endocannabinoid system: future therapeutic strategies". Drug Discovery Today. 22 (1): 105–110.
Donvito, Giulia; Nass, Sara R.; Wilkerson, Jenny L.; Curry, Zachary A.; Schurman, Lesley D.; Kinsey, Steven G.; Lichtman, Aron H. (31 August 2017). "The Endogenous Cannabinoid System: A Budding Source of Targets for Treating Inflammatory and Neuropathic Pain". Neuropsychopharmacology. 43 (1): 52–79.